logo for Franciscan Brothers in Springfield, Illinois

Banner picture for the About Us page for Franciscan Brothers in Springfield Illinois


We are a Congregation of Brothers united in the mission of Jesus. We give witness and service to humanity, especially in the care of the sick, the elderly, individuals with intellectual disabilities and in pastoral care.

We look to the example of St. Francis of Assisi as we follow Jesus each day.

In 1924, the Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross came to the United States as missionaries from our Motherhouse, located in Germany. The Brothers went first to New Orleans to establish an orphanage. Our foundation in Springfield came at the invitation of Bishop James A. Griffin in 1928. Ten of our Brothers came from Germany to establish a trade school for young men.   Today, the Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross sponsor various ministries for adult persons with intellectual disabilities. We as Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross have maintained a presence in the Diocese of Springfield ever since.


As members of the Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross, we strive to live Gospel values inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi and guided by the life and rule of our founder Brother James Wirth.  Our mission is to be of service to the Church and the people of God by providing care in a joyful giving of self to the sick, the suffering and those in need.


We, the Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross, choose to live a fraternal life based on Gospel values in the prophetic spirit of St. Francis of Assisi and of our founder, Brother James Wirth.  With Jesus Christ as our Brother, we live as Brothers with one another, with the entire human family, and with all creation.  Calling ourselves and one another to continuous conversion of heart based on trust, we commit ourselves to a life of Brotherhood: simplicity, poverty and humility.


The vows of poverty, consecrated chastity, and obedience free us

as Franciscan Brothers to focus not on material possessions, personal pleasures,

or one's own will but on God and the needs of the Church.